July 19 (Day 79)

Alder Spring to 1265.1 (1234.4 to 1265.1)

Daily miles: 30.7

My second 30 mile day, but the first sunrise to sunset thirty miler.  Last time I did it I hiked until 3:30 in the morning way back in the Mojave, which, I’m not sure that counts.  But today counts, for sure.  12 hours of hiking, plus over 4000 feet of elevation gain for the day.  Not only that, but my first ever 10 by 10, which is where you hike 10 miles by 10 in the morning.  I’m beat!

 But it was fun, challenges are always good and it’s a morale boost when you pull off something big.  NorCal is still great for all the reasons I’ve mentioned before.  The hills and trees go on forever.

I also dropped all the way down to 3100 feet elevation, which has to be the lowest I’ve been in a while.  On the way I passed through a big dark forest where nothing grows on the ground.  Just sticks and fallen trees and dirt and pine cones.  Then, it was like being in the Ozarks with deciduous trees and springs and creeks flowing here and there.  For a while the air seemed to turn green from the light coming through all the leaves.  I haven’t seen actual leaves in months…

Tonight I made a camp for myself off in the woods, on a bed of pine needles.  Tomorrow I go down below 3000 feet elevation to the town of Belden where a package and (hopefully) some ice cream are waiting for me.  

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